Online classes can be difficult, especially if they come unexpectedly. With the recent global situation, colleges and schools have transitioned to online learning and educational methods. As someone who has taken online courses before, I have discovered strategies that have helped me to stay motivated, productive, and prepared.
1. Create a Schedule
I think one of the hardest aspects of online learning is creating routine and structure. While some classes require video lectures and have strict due dates, others allow you to accomplish work and assignments at your own pace. Write down all due dates on a calendar. Make a weekly agenda and a daily class schedule for yourself, blocking out class time. Personally, I have found it easier to follow my normal class schedule that I had before my school transitioned to online learning. If you have trouble spending too much or too little time on a class, try setting a timer. It is also good to spread the work out in order to prevent putting too much on your plate. It may take some trial and error to find what works best for you, but creating structure and having good time management is very important.
2. Find a Study Space
Dedicate an environment in your home to school and learning. By repeatedly using that space for school, you will begin to develop routine and productivity. You may choose an office space, a desk in your bedroom, or even a table outside. Everyone is different when it comes to their learning style and environment. It might be tempting to study or work while in bed, but I highly advise against it. To our brains, bed is associated with sleeping and signals tiredness or laziness, resulting in less focus.
3. Eliminate Distractions
My phone is probably my biggest distraction when it comes to schoolwork, so I began to turn it off or put it in a different room during class. I was really surprised at how much I was able to accomplish, and I found there to be a lot more time in my day for other activities. Whether it's social media, chores, noise, or Netflix, try to eliminate distractions during class time. Wear headphones to drown out noise, or make a list of all the other responsibilities floating around in your head. You can find a creative solution. Communication is also important. Respectfully let those you live with know about your schedule and what is distracting, remembering that space is shared.
4. Hold Yourself Accountable
Friends and family are the best people to hold us accountable, and that can be true for school too. Choose someone that can be authentic with you and that you can trust to keep you on track. Let them know about your schedule and learning situation. Keep in touch with your classmates and share your thoughts with them.
5. Set a Vision
Motivation can be so challenging to find sometimes. There are some classes that I absolutely love to study for, and others not so much. It can get a little boring and dull. My solution is to set a vision. Think about yourself as a student and what goals you have in life. Every action you take now is getting you one step closer to where you want to be, even if it not the most fun. Imagine how you would feel after a day of productivity and accomplishment. Imagine how you would feel at the end of the semester. Make your future self proud.
I hope these tips are of some help. You've got this!